The Vortex

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More rain tapped on our tent as we slept, keeping at it into the morning. We waved off our new friends and joined up in the common room, listening to everyone try to make their plans for the day. Despite the fact that lots of us were planning to move on to somewhere new, almost everyone ended up staying, claiming that leaving Veliko Tărnovo is tough, there is just too much to do, see, and eat!

Finally, the rain started to let up, so we headed up the hill to visit the site that makes this town famous, the huge fortress, Tsaravets. The place was built in the 12th century, protecting what was then Bulgaria’s capitol city.

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The clowds sunk low in the sky, threatening to rain and providing us lovely light for taking photos. On our last trip, I spent my days hoping for sun, but these days, I think I was actually made for overcast weather. We’re wary of the razor hot sun which makes days seem positively miserable with heat.

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We climbed up and down narrow and broken staircases, admiring the views of the city and the walls. We also poked our head in the church, which is no longer in use, full of modern style frescoes. Although the design was almost a little spooky I thought was a really great change from all the traditional church art we’ve seen.

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We loved the wide open spaces and lack of fences, allowing us to climb up on the walls and meander wherever we liked. In lieu of too much policing, occasional signs simply reminded people to be careful as they hiked. We love the laid back culture here!

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Nearly three hours later, we headed out to see the town in daylight. We hoped to find an street full of artists that someone told us about, but mostly what we found were intriguing crumbling buildings, stray cats, and quaint alleyways. We finally stopped for a snack at a cafe right near the hostel when the clouds cracked and gave way to another bout of drenching rain. We watched from the window it while we ate, thankful for such a nice day of nice weather.

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Later in the evening, we head up for the light show at the fortress that happens on a sporadic basis. I felt a bit like I was at Disneyland, amused as the castle lit up a multitude of different colors, shooting lasers out of the top of the tall tower. Then, we headed back to the hostel for another rainy night of camping.

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